Clean Slate

Disclaimer:  This post is a collection of semi-associated topics that lately just won’t leave me alone.  Mostly, it is just me babbling.  Actually, all of it is…

I have been doing a lot of “soul searching” (is that what people call it?) over the last few months, although truthfully I have been meaning to do it for quite a bit longer.  Mostly I talk about the changes I have made as a mother–raising a family and a child with special needs.  I fail to mention the part about me growing as an individual outside of my role as a mom.  Outside of a mom?  Yes, because I have only been a mom for a few years, not 26.  So there was an individual here long before there was a mom.  What I do as a mom affects me as an individual.  And what I mean by that is I realize that what I do–writing this blog, sharing my personal experiences, advocating my daughter, venting, publishing a book, etc.–is not for everyone.  It doesn’t have to be.  That’s okay.  My motives and my integrity have been questioned.  Over the course of the last few years I have made new friends, lost others and probably gained an enemy.  To be perfectly honest, sometimes I forget that I have such amazing support in my readers (sometimes I forget people read this blog at all because I just enjoy doing it for me…).  But I also forget that there are those–even those “close” to me–that come here, read and disagree.  Again, it is totally fine.  People’s opinions are their own.  Everyone is free to have them.  I think that is one of the things that makes this life so great–the freedom (well here, anyway) to have our own opinions.  As my old college roommate used to say, “Variety is the spice of life, my friend.”  

However, I did not always feel this way.  Part of growing from these experiences meant accepting that people are free disagree with others including me, even if it does sting a little.  I am not perfect.  The good news is that I have yet to meet someone else who is.

It takes a lot to let something roll off of my back.  I have a long history of grudge-holding…I grew up doing it.  I was good at it–too good at it.  My insecurities about myself were disguised in my bitterness towards those I was jealous of.  I over-analyzed everything…EV-ER-Y-THING!  And I won’t lie…that is still a bad habit.  When I would hear of those who disagreed with the things I was doing here or really anything, I would become obsessed with wanting to know why.  Until one day my ever-so-honest husband said to me, “Why do you care?  No really…why do you care?”  And I couldn’t provide him with an answer.

My 2013 New Years resolution was to clean my slate…meaning accepting disagreements, letting go of grudges held and surrounding myself with positive energy.  I have grown to forgive when hurt and in turn apologize when I may have done the same.  I am still a work in progress, but I take pride in my gains.  Of course the recent hard times with Tessa have had a huge impact on finding what is important in my life.  If a troubled time is what made me realize it, then so be it.  What I am gaining is a richer perspective on being honest with myself, the value of true friendship and an appreciation for the challenges that force me to rise above.  

I was watching a Today Show interview a few years ago with Gayle Haggard talking about her husband’s highly publicized scandal.  She was talking about her life being an open book and how she searched to find how she wanted her ‘character’ (in her life’s book) defined.  She said, “I asked myself: Who do I want my character to be?”  This stayed with me since watching her interview.  Because we all have a choice.  Either face our issues or carry them with us forever.  Well I already have a lot of junk in the ‘ol trunk (lame-o mom joke), and I don’t carry extra baggage so well.  Therefore, I chose to wipe my slate clean [the best that I could] of things that don’t need to be with me anymore.  I am better off that way.  Better yet, I have so much more of myself to give to those who need me when I am in a good place.  

This is a post that I have thought about for quite sometime now…especially assuming that someone somewhere reading this just happened to do the covered mouth talking-cough that coincidentally sounded a lot like bullsh**!   As previously mentioned, I am not perfect. The real challenge here was finding a way to talk about it all without sounding pretentious (and really I can’t say if I accomplished that)–like I am such a pro at life-advice and how to get over your problems.  Obviously I’m not.  Nothing will ever go away as easily as I would like, and I will always be a project of my own.  I suppose it comes back to people having their own opinion, in this case, of the post and the way it was written.  Deciding whether to click “Publish” or “Save Draft” on this one (and always opting for the latter) was tough.  But I remembered that not everyone has to like it, agree with it, or even look at it.  So “Publish” it is…

6 thoughts on “Clean Slate

  1. I so admire what you have done in advocating and helping people to understand the challenges of raising a child with special needs as well as severe medical issues. I, to had a daughter with Down’s. She also had serious health problems and passed away seven years ago. Throughout her life she brought so much joy into our lives, drew so many interesting people into our circle, and taught us so much, (patience included!) We were so blessed to have had her in our lives and again, I want you to know we admire you for the challenges you have overcome and those yet to be recognized. You are such a special person, that I know you will meet and defeat all the obstacles ahead. God bless you and your lovely family!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Terri. Actually I do have some vague memories of your daughter…seeing at the school when I would go to watch my brother wrestle.

  2. Good for you and for all of the people in your life. It’s a huge accomplishment to recognize the things we want to change and understand we are a work in progress. Moving forward and not getting stuck in what other’s would believe about is very liberating. You’re so young and have gotten a lesson that some people never get in their entire lifetime. You my dear are an inspiration
    to young and old. Congrats.

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